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50 Beers in 50 States

50 Beers in 50 States


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Each state has its signature brewery (and beer): the best from 50 states (and Washington D.C., too!)

The best breweries (and beers) for each of the 50 states.

With more than 2,000 craft breweries in the U.S. today, it seems like it might be hard to walk more than 100 feet without running into one. While that’s not quite the case just yet, you can find a great craft brewery in every state of the union — including the U.S. capital.

Click here for the 50 Beers from 50 States Slideshow

The term "craft beer" is a relatively new one in American beer history. In the years following Prohibition, which shut down the traditional local breweries around the country, beer became boring, and it was hard to find full-flavored, high-quality beers in the U.S. until about the mid-'70s.

At that time, beer lovers were getting sick of the beer status quo that consisted of light lagers like Coors Light, Bud Light, Natty Light... you get the picture. A grassroots movement took shape, as home brewers began creating their own beers with better ingredients and more flavor. Fritz Maytag had also purchased the Anchor Brewing Company in 1965 and started adopting some of the traditional brewing techniques, producing high-quality beer that many drinkers had not tasted for years.

In the wake of Fritz Maytag’s Anchor Brewing, breweries like Sierra Nevada, Boston Beer Company, and many others set up shop and brewed what have become known as craft beers. It wouldn’t take long for these beers to gain popularity and the spirit of the craft beer movement to sweep across the country, resulting in the birth of many beloved craft breweries.

Of course, just like there’s state pride, there’s also local brewery pride. Beer lovers across the country have their favorite local bar — and local brewery. For that reason, it can be hard to pinpoint the very best craft brewery in each state. So we picked out those breweries that are not only crafting delicious beer but are also representing their state across the country as one of the more well-known breweries from their area.

Click through to see the 51 breweries and beers we’ve chosen to represent the 50 states and Washington, D.C.


The 50 Best Craft Beers in the United States

If you think craft beer is played out, think again. American breweries are still creating inventive, unique, and deliciously local brews. From Alabama to Wyoming, below you’ll find the 50 best craft beers in the country.

The 76 Best Places to Drink a Beer in America

To come up with our list, we selected one new and innovative beer from a brewery in every state in the country: stouts, porters, IPAs, tasty session ales, sour IPAs, and plenty more bottles and cans you’ll want to stock in your beer fridge this year. Welcome to the new United States of Suds.

The 10 Most Influential Beer Drinkers in America

For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!


50 Drinks in 50 States: The Wyoming Boilermaker

Last week you enjoyed the classic cocktail-that’s-really-dessert (the Michigan Hummer ) but now it’s time to head west. We’re going to Wyoming and we’re going to try boilermakers.

The boilermaker is probably the least complicated alcoholic drink you could make, aside from just cracking open a can of beer. The gist of the drink is that you drop a shot of whiskey into a cold pint of beer, and then drink the two together with the shot glass remaining in the glass as you drink.

There are two theories about why this popular drink came to be called a boilermaker, and further, how it became so beloved in Wyoming. The first theory is that the drink is an ode to the state’s most famous attraction: the Old Faithful Geyser . Geysers are essentially steam explosions , which erupt when boiling groundwater becomes hot enough to blast its way to the surface. Much in the same way that dropping a whiskey shot into a glass of cold beer causes bubbles to erupt in the glass.

Others Wyomians claim, however, that the drink is named after the workers (called boilermakers) who built steam locomotives in the 1800s. These guys quickly developed a post-work habit of ordering a beer and whiskey shot combo at the bar in order to ease the pain of a hard day’s work.

No matter the origin, the boilermaker is a sure-fire way to jump start your night. You can order it at the bar, or just whip it up at home. Although it’s not quite a recipe in the general sense (two ingredients, no mixing, no serious measuring)… we’re still showing you how to make it!

Ingredients
15 oz cold beer (we suggest Landshark!)
1 ½ oz Bourbon or Rye whiskey

Directions
Fill a shot glass with your favorite whiskey. Fill a pint glass ¾ of the way with your favorite beer. Drop the shot glass of whiskey into the pint of beer. Bottoms up!

Alternative: You can also make a Boilermaker by pouring the whiskey shot directly into your pint. It’s not quite as theatrical, but it gets the job done!


The 50 Best Beers of 2019

See the 50 Best Beers for 2020 here!
At last estimate, there were more than 7,500 breweries operating in the U.S. in 2019. As more breweries open — introducing a never-ending stream of new beers to the marketplace — finding the best is near impossible. Luckily, we’ve spent a lot of time over the last year tasting them.

This, evidently, was the year of saison our 2019 list concludes with an unprecedented number of Belgian-style farmhouse ales, which signals that yeast may be having its moment. Lower-alcohol, “better-for-you” beers are in the limelight, too, as more craft beer drinkers seek beers that fit healthier lifestyles, or simply want more sessionable options — and more breweries are figuring out how to make these delicious.

On the whole, we as a craft beer drinking society may not be pivoting away from IPA to craft lager just yet (at least, not statistically), but rest assured, plenty of both make the list.

Every Beer Lover Needs This Hop Aroma Poster

This ranking was determined by members of the VinePair team. Hundreds of selections were considered and narrowed down to 50 with the following criteria: All beers must be available for retail in the U.S. in a can or bottle retail, or otherwise be a seasonal release or part of a rotating series we expect to see back in 2020. Placement is limited to one beer per brewery. The 50 best beers of 2019 ranking focuses on labels released within the year, although this is not a requirement. Selections from last year’s 50 best beers of 2018 were not considered.

Availability has an effect on ranking: In other words, if you have to travel, trade, or sacrifice your firstborn for a 4-ounce pour, recommending it in our top 10 is not helpful to a majority of beer drinkers. Now for the fun part!

These are VinePair’s 50 best beers of 2019.

50. Mother Earth 4Seasons Hazy IPA (With Fremont Brewing)

Nampa, ID ABV: 7.5%

Previously dubbed “The Four Seasons of Mother Earth,” this 4Seasons release debuted in summer 2019 in partnership with Seattle’s Fremont Brewing. The duo used “craft” malt from a farmer-owned co-op in Spokane to further share the local love. On the hop front, this beer showcases African Queen, a fruity, herbal, spicy variety from South Africa, along with Galaxy, Mosaic Cryo, and El Dorado hops. The result? Mango, passion fruit, and orange aromas a grain-forward, almost savory malt flavor reminiscent of sage and a fruity, herbal finish. Although a limited release, we look forward to tasting more “seasons.”

49. Lakefront Brewery Hazy Rabbit IPA

Milwaukee, WI ABV: 5.2%

Pouring bright gold and cloudy, a Camembert-esque cheesy aroma kicks off the nose on this hazy IPA, followed by orange, tangerine, passionfruit, and a melon cotton candy note. Low on bitterness, but less sweet than “traditional” hazy/juicy IPAs, it’s bright and balanced with soft carbonation and light malt character due to flaked oats.

48. Anchor Brewing Fog Breaker IPA

San Francisco, CA ABV: 6.8%

San Francisco stalwart Anchor Brewing’s relatively new Fog Breaker, released in 2018, earned its fair share of loyal drinkers this year. It was especially a hit among classic IPA lovers, who lament the days of IPAs that tasted like pine, weren’t too bitter, and didn’t look like OJ. This IPA has some West Coast bitterness, a hint of fruitiness and a touch of haze (O.K., fog). It’s piney and crisp, and adds Cryo hops to its dry-hopping regimen, along with whole-cone Denali and Cascade.

47. Shiner Ruby Redbird

Shiner, TX ABV: 4%

Spoetzl Brewery’s Shiner Beer updated its Ruby Redbird lager in 2019 with nutrition facts faux-dive bars will be fawning over: It contains 95 calories, 3.1 grams of carbs, and Texas-grown Ruby Red grapefruit juice. Grapefruit and ginger are present on the nose and palate, making this easy-drinking sipper with a kick perfect for sushi pairing.

46. Cascade Brewing Cuvée du Jongleur

Portland, OR ABV: 9.4%

Toward the tail end of 2018, Cascade re-released this oaky, complex, funky cuvée for the first time since 2008. A decade after its original release, the label did not disappoint: Berry and oak aromas are followed by a creamy mouthfeel and fruity tartness. When nursed in a tulip glass, it opens up nicely as it warms, releasing further fruit aromas such as cherry, plum, and hints of grapefruit and caramel.

45. Goose Island Bourbon County Double Barrel

Chicago, IL ABV: 18%

In this 2019 variant of Goose Island’s infamous barrel-aged stout series, “double barrel” refers to the stout aging one year in 11-year-old Elijah Craig barrels, then afterward aging another year in (different) 12-year-old Elijah Craig barrels. Fruit, leather, chocolate, and yes, intense bourbon flavors swirl on the palate, with a whiskey-beer-hybrid warmth all the way down. Although this variant is very limited in quantity, several other Bourbon County stouts are out there. Forget the drama, they’re still delicious.

44. Hardywood Park Distorted Perception

Richmond, VA ABV: 7%

A cornucopia of tropical fruit explodes on the nose of this NEIPA — tangerine, passionfruit, guava. With our eyes closed, we could swear this was actual juice. Mango-flavored bubble tea and tart, juicy smoothie flavors make this a little sweet, but it is lip-smackingly delicious.

43. Separatist Beer Project Spellbook Imperial Stout

Easton, PA ABV: 13%

Maple syrup and cinnamon additions amplify this imperial stout’s sweet side, while roasted malt’s coffee and dark chocolate notes add bitterness to balance.

42. Wiley Roots Black Bart Monstah

Greeley, CO ABV: 11%

Inspired by the Spanish-descended fried dough sopapilla (or more specifically, the sopapilla served at Mexican Restaurant Casa Bonita, which has a room named “Black Bart’s Cave”), this dark, velvety imperial stout brings chocolatey, roasty flavors rather than fresh fried dough. Cinnamon, burnt sugar, and honey are added for extra decadence, making this a sweet stout to sip on a cold, boozy afternoon.

41. Garage Brewing Peanut Butter Chocolate Milk Stout

Temecula, CA ABV: 7.1%

This liquid Reese’s Pieces is rich, but not sticky chocolatey, but not cloying and full-bodied, yet feels lighter on the palate than its peanut-butter-chocolate-flavored 7.1 percent ABV might have you think. Our panel unanimously found this pastry stout daringly easy to drink.

40. WeldWerks PB&J Berliner

Greeley, CO ABV: 4.6%

Considering that it was mostly its juicy IPAs, not wildly flavored kettle sours, that put this Colorado brewery on beercationers’ maps, a peanut butter and jelly-flavored Berliner weiss wasn’t what we expected to love most from WeldWerks this year. Yet, here we are. Berliner weiss and fruit are ancient companions, so perhaps it’s not surprising that strawberry puree would complement grain and tart flavors so well — add peanut powder to the mix, and the combination of flavors is unforgettable.

39. Reuben’s Brews Brettania (Series): Boysenberry and Blackberry

Seattle, WA ABV: 6.3%

Brettanomyces can make or break a beer. In the right hands, as at Reuben’s Brews, it really sings. In this mixed-culture saison aged for six months in oak puncheons, then aged with boysenberries and blackberries for an additional six months, and finally refermented in-bottle, it sings. Brettania: Boysenberry and Blackberry was the first release in Reuben’s Brews’ barrel-aged sour program, and it promptly began winning awards. Brettania: Guava and Brettania: Blackcurrant followed, and we’re anxious to taste what’s next.

38. Bell’s Brewery Official Hazy IPA

Comstock, MI ABV: 6.4%

Released in March 2019, Bell’s Brewery’s “Official” marked the legendary beer pioneer’s entry into the hazy IPA category. Long celebrated for its Two Hearted IPA, a bracingly bitter, grapefruit-flavored exemplar of the more “old-school” IPAs style, this newcomer stands on its own with tropical fruit and citrus aromas, a palate that’s lighter than the style-defining NEIPAs of the Northeast, and an orange juice kick on the finish.

37. Oskar Blues Can-O-Bliss Hazy IPA

Longmont, CO, Brevard, N.C. and Austin, TX ABV: 7.2%

Can-O-Bliss “Hazy,” part of a rotating IPA series (“Tropical” and “Citrus” are others), serves up OJ, pineapple juice, and a hint of cheesy funk on the nose, followed by a fruity, herbal, spicy potpourri of hop-driven flavors on the palate. (Strata, Cashmere, Enigma, Hallertau Blanc, and Eureka hops are all used in this brew.) It’s surprisingly light in color and body, though, with crisp carbonation to balance its pungent hoppiness.

36. Springdale Beer Pearly Wit

Framingham, MA ABV: 4.8%

Springdale Beer, of Jack’s Abby, debuted this wispy witbier last year, but in 2019 we started to see it on a lot more tap lists — and rightfully so. It’s the definition of a sessionable wheat beer: pillowy soft, crisp and coriander-flavored, with a hint of tangy citrus to keep things interesting.

35. Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest (2019)

Chico, CA and Asheville, NC ABV: 6%

Sierra Nevada’s Oktoberfest got so much love this year, people married it (or at least, got married with it. At Oktoberfest. In Germany.) As for us, we appreciated the 2019 version of this annual classic as a bubbly aperitif. Brewed in collaboration with Germany’s Bitburger Brewery, it combines the smooth flavors of Caramel, Munich, and Pilsner malt with a bitter punch, perhaps from Bitburger’s Siegelhopfen — that’s German for “sealed hops,” or the brewer’s “secret” hop blend.

34. Equilibrium Moon of Vega

Middletown, NY ABV: 8.7%

Brewed in collaboration with Florida’s J. Wakefield Brewing, this double IPA is made with more than copious amounts of Citra, Galaxy, and Mosaic hops, vanilla, and lactose (milk sugar), pouring creamy and sweet, aroma-dosed with mango, and just a hint tart on the finish. It’s the ridiculousness of a milkshake IPA in an obscenely delicious package.

33. Pure Project Rain

San Diego, CA ABV: 5.3%

Unfiltered, yet clear and golden as a summer sky, topped with a fluffy white cloud of foam, Rain is a subtle eruption: pilsner malt’s telltale biscuity aroma is amplified by its single-malt, organic producer lemongrass follows, from Hallertau Mittelfruh hops’ herbal, citrus nudge. German ingredients and an American craft brewer’s hand make this bitter little pilsner exactly what to look for at the end of — or start of — a long day.

32. Brouwerij West Picnic Lightning

San Pedro, CA ABV: 6.8%

Picnic Lightning proves West Coast breweries can do New England-style IPAs well — and even add their own touch. Lemongrass, grapefruit, and a hint of tropical fruit blend on the nose as well as on the palate, creating a slightly sweet, herbal-citrus mix with a bitter kick. Along with malted barley, this beer uses oats and raw spelt, allowing a soft mouthfeel. Juicy, earthy, and memorable, this one is on tap at the brewery at press time — nab yourself a pour if you happen to be in L.A.

31. West Kill Kaaterskill IPA

West Kill, NY ABV: 6%

Teetering on the edge of dialed-in juicy IPA and new-American pale ale, this farm-brewed New beer from New York’s Catskill Mountain region is modern and rustic at once. Modern, with its dry-hopping regimen of Azaaca, Columbus, Mosaic, and Citra hops. Rustic, in that it’s crafted on a farm in the mountains. Though not as available as other IPAs on this list, this beer is worth the hike. Mountain or specialty beer shop, a word to the wise: a 4-pack is never enough.

30. Avery Bon-Bon Cerise

Boulder, CO ABV: 14.6%

Stout lovers won’t know what’s coming until sipping this bourbon-barrel-aged imperial stout aged with cherries, cacao nibs, and vanilla beans. Sounds like standard fare for a barrel-aged pastry stout, but it’s anything but: Yes, it’s boozy and laced with bourbon-barrel character, but what stood out to our tasters was its powdered chocolate note and cooked fruit flavor, akin to cherry pie. Like the dessert, Bon Bon Cerise has layers to enjoy.

29. Left Hand Raspberry Milk Stout

Longmont, CO ABV: 5.7%

Launched in 2019, this sister to Left Hand’s category-defining milk stout has raspberry on the nose and palate, balanced with roasty notes and a touch of sweetness. Bitter chocolate and cherry on the finish wrap it all up in a smooth, dessert-friendly (or dessert-replacing) package.

28. Monday Night Ante Meridiem Blend No. 1 (2018)

Atlanta, GA ABV: 13.5%

Several Monday Night beers were considered for this list, but its “imperial brown ale” — fair enough, it’s 13.5 percent ABV, aged in locally sourced bourbon barrels, and dosed with locally roasted coffee, Ugandan vanilla beans, and maple syrup — is a testament to the Atlanta brewery’s relentless experimentation. Firstly, it brings the noise for brown ale (even if it’s hyperbolizing the usually subtly roasty style). In a similar conundrum, It smells like vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup, and tastes creamy and sweet. But warm bourbon and coffee bean prevent it from becoming cloying. The body has excellent texture, rich but drinkable, with just enough carbonation to give a crisp edge, lifting it safely out of the barrel-aged-syrup-beer danger zone. No single part overpowers another, making this a rare treat. (It’s available seasonally on draft and in 500-milliliter bottles in Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama.)

27. Lamplighter Major Tom

Boston, MA ABV: 6.8%

This space-themed, true New England-Style IPA brewed by Boston’s Lamplighter, a brewery, coffee purveyor and soon-to-be-distillery, is, like its maker, bold. Floating in this tin can* are Australian Galaxy hops, imparting tropical-fruit juicy flavors, but also a bitter bite hiding in the haze. *The can is aluminum.

26. Saint Archer Mexican Lager

San Diego, CA ABV: 4.8%

Saint Archer Brewery debuted its Mexican-style lager in March 2019, and it rose up our ranks for its many juxtapositions: sweet and herbal cooked corn tortilla and fresh herbs and, philosophically, a San Diego-brewed, Mexican-style beer owned by the very North American MillerCoors. Maybe it’s not that crazy. You would, however, be crazy to pass this up if you’re a fan of Mexican lagers like we are. Pair with chicken enchiladas, tortilla chips with salsa verde, or a lime wedge.

25. Athletic Brewing Co. Run Wild NA IPA

Stratford, CT ABV: < 0.5%

This isn’t the first time we’re praising Athletic Brewing’s flagship IPA, but it is the first time a non-alcoholic beer has made it to the top 50 beers of the year list. This says a lot, not only about the quality of this particular brew — which is made with all-organic grains, and five hop varieties from the Northwest U.S. — but it speaks to the market’s move (if inching, even) toward no- and low-ABV, as well as lower-calorie (this one’s 70), options. This beer is flavorful and balanced, featuring an herbal, citrus kick over a mild malt backbone. It became a regular purchase for some panelists over the course of the year. We’ve bought out in the wild on several semi-sober occasions. For us, this one isn’t about abstaining, it’s about sustaining — through the day and night with friends, can in hand.

24. J. Wakefield 24th Street Brown Ale

Miami, FL ABV: 6.5%

Don’t let this beer’s street-smart exterior dark, murky interior fool you. On the inside, from the first sip, it’s sweet chocolate malt balls, smooth toffee flavor, and roasty, dialed-back bitterness (think cold-brewed coffee compared to burnt iced coffee). 24th Street Brown Ale is named for the brewery’s Miami address, and with the recent remodeling of that taproom, we felt it was owed another look and a new appreciation in 2019.

23. Coronado Set West

Coronado, CA ABV: 7%

This West Coast IPA from California stalwart Coronado Brewing dials back the style’s bitterness with biscuity, freshly baked bread and fresh-squeezed orange juice on the nose. It’s dry on the palate, with a bitterness that lingers just the right amount, allowing the beer to be refreshing, rather than weigh down the palate. A hallmark West Coast IPA.

22. Two Roads Area Two Table Terroir

Stratford, CT ABV: 3.7%

Connecticut-grown malts, hops, and yeast so local it was captured in the brewery’s own hop yard put the “terroir” in Table Terroir, a food-pairing companion and conversation starter that’s as fascinating as it is tasty. Delicate and complex, with fruity and spicy notes, it’s one we wish we could find more often — but, like this beer’s ingredients, you’ll have to go to the brewery for that.

21. Gueuzerie Tilquin Oude Pinot Noir Tilquin à L’Ancienne

Rebecq, Belgium ABV: 8.2%

“Finesse” comes to mind when attempting to describe this spontaneously-fermented lambic, which gets its fruit not from the traditional cherries (kriek) or raspberries (framboise), but from Pinot Noir grapes (260 grams of Pinot Noir grapes per liter of lambic, according to Gueuzerie Tilquin). The first version of this lambic, made to mark the 10th anniversary of legendary Belgian beer bar Moeder Lambic, used hand-harvested grapes from Valentin Zusslin Estate’s biodynamic Bollenberg vineyard. This new version uses organic grapes from a family farm in Steinseltz, France.

20. Cerebral Forbidden Idol: Mai Tai (Tiki Sour IPA Series)

Denver, CO ABV: 7%

Kicking off the year with a tiki sour IPA series is a bold move. For Cerebral Brewing, which we already love for its show-stopping IPAs and interesting forays into categories like wood-aged lager, Forbidden Idol’s pineapple, lime, and passionfruit-flavored tiki cocktail-inspired release was an awakening. Our panel agreed this one actually tasted like a Mai Tai, proving that tiki cocktails can translate into IPA forms — and that sour IPAs, at their best, beautifully emulate cocktails. We were hooked from the start, but Cerebral Brewing has released this beer in Mai Tai, Singapore Sling, Castaway, Zombie and Painkiller versions. (And, by the way, Mai Tais are better than you think.)

19. Finback Rolling in Clouds

Queens, NY ABV: 7.1%

When we think of an ideal juicy, hazy IPA, this is it. It’s not too sweet, not too boozy, and has a smooth mouthfeel. Fruity without being super sweet and gooey, it’s just right.

18. Tired Hands Shambolic

Ardmore, PA ABV: 6.5%

Shambolic, a saison brewed with malted spelt and raw wheat, rested in oak foudres, and dry-hopped with what is likely a lavish amount of Nelson Sauvin and Simcoe hops, is a lot to take in. Tropical fruit, lemony citrus, and floral notes create an intense perfume and palate, while fermentation with Tired Hands’ house saison yeast (and maybe microflora from the foudres) adds a tart, citric kick on the finish.

17. Grimm Artisanal Ales Awoogah IPA

Brooklyn, NY ABV: 6.4%

At this point, seeing an IPA below 7 percent ABV is a godsend. Fruity and floral aromas give way to a soft palate, with spicy hop character and a hint of tangerine tartness coming from a combination of Columbus, Galaxy, Hallertau Blanc, and Simcoe hops. It’s refreshing and balanced, with certain parts pleasantly exaggerated — citrus zest, for example — without going even a molecule too far. Truly hazy and juicy, without being too bitter or sweet, this is a perfect IPA.

16. pFriem Family Brewers Pilsner

Hood River, OR ABV: 4.9%

Available in cans starting in 2019, this crystal-clear, golden pilsner is reminiscent of springtime. A fresh floral aroma, soft carbonation, and suite of unusual herbal hops varietals like Perle and Saphir make this both palate cleanser and a center-stage sipper. Whether thoughtfully or thoughtlessly, enjoy this on a porch, in a backyard, at a barbecue, or basically anywhere, anytime.

15. The Referend Bier Blendery Le Mur (2018)

Pennington/Hopewell Township, NJ ABV: 6%

“Blackberry spontaneously fermented golden ale” is a mouthful of a beer description, but it only begins to scratch the surface of how this exquisite vintage is made. Released in July 2019, Le Mur is a blend of one- and two-year-old beer, the younger re-fermented with southern New Jersey blackberries in French oak, and the older with northern New Jersey blackberries in stainless steel. It pours a dusty garnet with a fluffy ruby head. Tart cherry, raspberry, and blackberry aromas are pungent from first whiff. Up close, nose to glass, it’s all citrus — fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice, acidic orange, and a hint of lemon and lime. A brioche scent wafts in, creating a tart berry-pie aroma. The palate is tart, concentrated fruit, sharp but balanced with jammy berry flavors — it is not puckeringly sour like so many unoaked, kettle-soured beers tend to be. Oak puncheons, and perhaps more so, time, have softened its edges. Depth, complexity, and excitement.

14. Perennial Artisan Ales Prism: Mosaic

St. Louis, MO ABV: 5.5%

Showcasing the multi-faceted, New-World Mosaic hop in a classic saison would be a terrible idea if you were anyone but Perennial. But saisons and farmhouse-style ales are among this small St. Louis brewery’s specialty, and this particular release in its “Prism” series did the best job at convincing us the result can be delicious. Maybe it’s the magic of Mosaic meeting a saison yeast strain, but this saison is better than the sum of its parts.

13. Holy Mountain Witchfinder

Seattle, WA ABV: 6.1% ABV

Golden, frothy, and skunky (in a good way), this pungently-scented saison is all earthy funk on the nose, followed by floral and citrus flavors and a lingering pithy finish. It’s one of many excellent saisons from this Seattle brewery, and solidifies our suspicion that we’ll grab a bottle any time we see one — if the beer budget allows.

12. Threes Brewing The Dictator Is The People

Brooklyn, NY ABV: 6%

Pungent, peppery spice, and tart apricot aromas are a precursor to this oak-aged saison’s delectable journey. Lightly fruity, dry, Champagne-sparkling, it’s a saison worth celebrating with — or celebrating, period. Next in rotation of mixed-culture, oak-aged wheat beers is Bad Faith.

11. Transmitter Brewing S9

Brooklyn, NY ABV: 5.8%

After moving from a very small space in Queens to one of Brooklyn’s biggest commercial centers, Transmitter released S9, a saison that rivals its smaller-scale days, and, dare we say, its Belgian inspirations. This iteration is pale and can be perceived as light on the palate, but it has hidden complexities: earthy, fruity notes derived from yeast and hops complement cereal grain flavors, with lively carbonation and bitterness hitting at the finish.

10. Trillium Crown and Crate

Boston, MA ABV: 8.6%

Massachusetts hives provide the nectar for this double IPA with raw wildflower honey, which, along with lactose, give the beer its ultra-creamy mouthfeel, and supple, smoothie-sweet decadence. Named for the queen bee (the “crown”) and the milk crate her worker bees use to create their hive, its abundance of tropical fruit flavors invoke the plenitudes of spring, royalty, and indulgence.

9. Harpoon Rec League

Boston, MA and Windsor, VT ABV: 3.8%

Is there anything more exciting than a 3.8-percent-ABV hoppy beer? It’d be hard to convince us while sipping Rec League. Harpoon is officially back in the game with this refreshing, light-bodied, lightly bitter and light-everything low-ABV refresher. Hints of pineapple and tropical fruit on the nose, and clementine and tangerine on the palate, yet dry as a bone, it’s a standout of the year.

8. Lagunitas Daytime Ale

Petaluma, CA ABV: 4%

Whether you’re into the low-alcohol, low-calorie phase of your beer-drinking career or not, it’s important to know that brewing a beer that’s light and tastes good is no easy feat. As the can perhaps suggests, Daytime Ale nails it. It’s citrusy and herbal, light and flavorful, and barbecue-friendly in every way. Coors Light chicks and hazebros can unite over this hoppy yet thirst-quenching summer sipper.

7. Sixpoint Citrus Jammer

Brooklyn, NY ABV: 4%

We tasted every Jammer variety time and time again this summer, and while our favoritism fluctuated between the original and tropical fruit flavors, we ultimately landed on Citrus Jammer. It has the salty, spicy gose flavor we’re looking for, but is slightly subdued (compared to American goses that overdo it). Added to that are candied orange aromas, Sprite-like lemon-lime, and a lingering, lemony tang, and we found its bright and bitter finish was more refreshing than the original. Soft coriander on the finish.

6. New Belgium Mural Agua Fresca Cerveza (With Primus Cervecería)

Fort Collins, CO Asheville, NC and Mexico City, Mexico ABV: 4%

Mural Agua Fresca got its start via test batches brewed by New Belgium and Primus at the Mexico City cerveceria. In 2019, the agua-fresca-inspired ale is available in all 50 U.S. states (and, coming soon, more flavors). It’s refreshing all around — Mural gets its red-pink color and tart essence from hibiscus, its thirst-quenching flavor from watermelon, zippy refreshment from lime, and a touch of sweetness from agave. Get out there and try this “cerveza” before it’s rebranded as spiked seltzer.

5. Funkwerks Passion Fruit Provincial (Series)

Fort Collins, CO ABV: 4.2%

If sour ales can be sessionable, Funkwerks is one of the few breweries that can accomplish it — and lucky for us, the Colorado farmhouse-style brand added New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Kentucky, Chicagoland, and, finally, Kansas to its distribution network this year. Passion Fruit Provincial is a memorable bottled ecosystem of passionfruit’s interaction with soft malt and saison yeast. Tart, tropical, and refreshing, it’s one that has us looking out for more “Provincial” variants — raspberry, “rhuberry” (strawberry and rhubarb), and pineapple guava are among them.

4. Rodenbach Classic

Rosalare, Belgium ABV: 5.2%

Nationally available as of 2019, Rodenbach Classic in cans — cans! —is what brought this classic brand to the top of our list this year. Rodenbach, a nearly-200-year-old Belgian brewery that defines the Flemish red beer style, launched its Rodenbach Classic label statewide in the U.S. in cans. The sleek, elegant take on a tallboy puts one of the best beers of all time in a pedestrian package, signaling that centuries-old tradition and the mastery of foeder-aging (courtesy living legend Rudi Ghequire), actually can be enjoyed anytime. No longer do we have to hoard our Rodenbach for Christmas dinner… unless it’s a vintage. As for the classic, it’s a blend of young and aged beer, the latter part of the blend aged for two years in giant oak foeders. It’s fruity and tart, pairs perfectly with rich foods, and is surprisingly sessionable on its own, too. Also in 2019, Rodenbach announced its first-ever beer collaboration with American craft beer pioneer Dogfish Head Craft Brewery.

3. SweetWater 420 Chocolope Stout

Atlanta, GA ABV: 6.4%

Chocolate stouts have been brewed many times over, but none have tasted like this. SweetWater’s 420 Strain, a series of cannabis-inspired beers, can be gimmicky, but this one wowed us every time we reached for it. It’s brewed with three types of roasted malt (Pale Chocolate, Chocolate, and Roasted Barley), a pair of herbal hops (Bravo, Willamette), and what the brewery refers to as “strain-specific terpenes and natural hemp-type flavors” — the latter being the “X”-factor. It’s insanely aromatic, like a sticky nug of weed, but roasty, too, and somehow, actual chocolate completes the package (Dutch chocolate, naturally). Insert weed joke here.

2. Cigar City Guayabera Citra Pale Ale

Tampa, FL ABV: 5.5%

Guayabera pours frothy, fruity, and intensely aromatic. Using only Citra hops, known for their citrusy profile of grapefruit and tropical fruit, this American pale ale is juicy and refreshing, balancing citrusy bitterness, soft, bready malt character, and endlessly quaffable aroma. It also makes a great shower beer.

1. Allagash River Trip

Portland, ME ABV: 4.8 %

2019 was all about easy-drinking refreshment, and Allagash nails it with River Trip — most importantly, the pioneering brewery does so without sacrificing its style. While craft brewers clamor to diversify with light lagers and hard seltzers, this Belgian-style session ale is easy-drinking with an edge. Spiced with coriander like a traditional Belgian witbier, and fermented with Allagash’s house yeast, it adds bright, bitter, grassy notes to its table beer base. Yes, Allagash excels at beautifully executed mixed-fermentation sour beers, but it was River Trip we kept coming back to this year, again and again.


The 36 Best Beers You Can Buy Online Or At Your Local Store

We've got it all: mainstream lagers, cult-status IPAs, innovative craft stouts, and more.

It's been brewing for a while, but at this point, it's safe to say: We're in the golden age of beer. And that means it's a great time to expand your horizons&mdashto embrace your favorites and learn more about them or discover totally new-to-you styles. To help you do just that, we've rounded up 37 of the best beers you can sip on right now. From mainstream lagers and historic Belgian ales to cult-status IPAs and innovative craft stouts, these are the hits: the flagship beers, the genre-establishing beers, the experimental beers that took off.

What's more? It's easier than ever to try out bottles and cans, both new and old, without leaving home. Shop all our picks right here, and get them delivered straight to your home. Ready, set, cheers!

Looking for something more specific? Check out our favorite low-carb beers and Irish varieties. Or can we interest you in some recipes? These three are perennial hits: beer-battered fish, beer cheese dip, and beer can chicken.

Mexican lagers are a warm-weather classic, and few have stood the test of time like Modelo Especial. This iconic favorite is a shining example of what makes Mexican lagers great. Mexican brewing traditions shaped the Vienna lager style into something uniquely its own&mdashsubtly toasty and caramel-forward with a dry finish that keeps is crisp. If you're not having a Modelo Especial with your tacos or at your barbecues, you're doing it wrong.

Another refreshing easy drinker is Miller High Life. Having been around since 1903, this lager is a key piece of American beer history. Even if you're not old enough to have seen the commercials firsthand, you remember the 1970s-era jingle, "If you've got the time, we've got the beer." High Life is just so clean and simple that even craft beer and cocktail pros count it as their mainstream brew of choice, and its "Champagne of Beers" identity is an endearing play on the high-low concept. From daytime gatherings to late night bar visits, Miller High Life is a familiar comfort.

Big Beer, a.k.a. Budweiser and Coors, are most often associated with light lagers. Craft breweries make them too, though, and the results are typically even better. The Nite Lite Craft Light Lager from Night Shift Brewing in Massachusetts converted anti-light lager craft fans. The Nite Lite is a lager at its cleanest, most balanced, and bubbliest.

Few beers can claim a history that dates back to the 13th century, but the purely perfect Pilsner Urquell is just that legendary. It's crafted in Plzen in the Czech Republic, a city that's famous for its soft water, which gives a nice, round finish to what would become the classic Czech pilsner. Made since 1842, Pilsner Urquell is easily the style's best known and best loved iteration.

Not all lagers are light. A schwarzbier is a traditional German style that combines the easy-drinking nature of a lager (clean, low in alcohol) with the complex flavor profile of a porter or stout (roastiness, coffee, chocolate). It's essentially, and sometimes called, a dark lager. One of the original producers of schwarzbier is Köstritzer, which has been brewing in Germany since 1543.

The Weihenstephan Abbey Brewery is one of the world's oldest, founded in 1040. Its Hefe Weissbier is brimming with history&mdashand a German wheat beer's special flavors of banana and clove. It's also a total trail-blazer as far as Germany's beers are concerned. The country's 1516 law requires German beer to be made only from water, hops, and barley (and later, when fermentation was understood, yeast). until Georg Schneider acquired a dispensation in 1872 and commercial breweries began to make wheat beers.

Schöfferhofer's Grapefruit Hefeweizen is a fresh&mdashand refreshing&mdashtake on the essential German wheat beer for anyone who enjoys a fruity beer. The brewery made the first grapefruit hefeweizen in 2007. This beer is half hefeweizen, half grapefruit, so those banana, clove, and bread flavors are brightened with tart citrus. While delicious on its own, it's also a great base for beer cocktails.

Bell's Brewery in Michigan quickly became the forefather of the American approach to wheat beers with the Oberon Ale. American wheat ales don't have the banana and clove flavors of German versions, instead playing up the wheaty-ness with subtle fruit aromas and a touch of spice from the hops. Bell's Oberon is so popular that when it's rolled out each year, the brewery and bars and shops who stock the beer celebrate with events and parties there's even a holiday for it.

California's Lagunitas Brewing Co. is famous for its IPA, but the brewery has another flagship beer that fans love. Lagunitas takes the American wheat ale one step further with the Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Ale, a beer that brings the wheat style into bolder territory with a hoppy twist.

The Fat Tire Amber Ale is somewhat of a beer industry darling. Colorado's New Belgium Brewing was one of the earliest trailblazers in what we now know as craft beer, and co-founder Kim Jordan is revered as an important game-changer in what has historically been a male-dominated industry. The Fat Tire is named for Jordan and partner Jeff Lebesch's bicycling trip through Belgium that inspired them to open a brewery, and it was one of the first two beers they sold in 1991. Other breweries have held the Fat Tire as a model for well-balanced amber ales ever since.

Since opening in 2003, Yazoo has inspired a vibrant beer scene to bubble up in Nashville. The Dos Perros Ale is one of its beloved flagship brews. It's a Mexican-style take on the brown ale, first made in England in the 17th century. Dos Perros nails the brown ale's nutty malt character with a touch of chocolate, but lightens things up as Mexican brewers frequently do with flaked maize for a perfect balance.

If it's something more straightforward you're after, Newcastle Brown Ale is like the brown ale poster child. The English beer has been brewed since 1927, and it's a can't-fail classic you can count on when you see it on the menu. Brewed with pale and crystal malts, it's light and bready with touches of nuttiness and dried fruit.

Today, Belgium's beer scene is richly varied between independent breweries and Trappist breweries (certain abbeys that make beer) producing beautiful interpretations of iconic styles. More recently, as in during the 20th century, Belgian brewers sought to compete with German and Czech lagers with lighter styles, and the blonde ale was born. The Leffe Blonde Ale is the most classic, widely known and loved version of the effervescent, grainy-sweet, orange-y and lemon-y and sometimes a little spicy style.

Chimay's Grande Reserve is for when you're feeling a little fancy. Popping that cork is the beer equivalent of popping a nice bottle of champagne. The Grande Reserve is a Belgian Strong Ale, which boasts a bouquet of caramel, toast, plum, fig, raisin, pepper, and perfume notes with a boozy warmth. Chimay is also an example of a Belgian Trappist breweries&mdashone of 14 in the entire world.

For a modern American take on farmhouse ales (more on those in a sec), turn to Connecticut's Two Roads Brewing Company. Their expertise is clear in the light, fruity, spicy Workers' Comp. Now for the history: Farmhouse ales were brewed with leftover crops during the winter and then saisonniers, or seasonal workers, drank them in the summer. That's where the name of a sub-group of farmhouse ales comes from, saisons. Farmhouse ales are a loose category, but often identified by tart and funky flavors with a crisp dryness that's super refreshing.

Pennsylvania's Victory Brewing makes one of America's favorite takes on the Belgian tripel, which is usually fruity and spicy and on the stronger side, at 7.5-9.5% ABV. Golden Monkey packs notes of banana, clove, orange, and earthy hops, with a dry finish. Made since 1997, it set the bar for American breweries to try their hands at Belgian beers.

Ommegang's Three Philosophers is a special treat. It's a blend of two styles: a kriek and a quadrupel. A kriek is a lambic (more on this on the next slide) made with cherries, and a quadrupel is a strong, dark Belgian ale with caramel, molasses, bread, and pepper flavors. The combo is a lovely American twist on a Belgian classic that smells and tastes like brown sugar, dark fruit, chocolate, caramel, vanilla, and of course, cherries.

Okay, let's talk about lambics. Lambics are made with cherries (that's the kriek), raspberries, peaches, and more, for a sweet take on the original style. One of the best known and best loved versions is a raspberry version: Lindemans Framboise. It's sweet and juicy (and only 2.5% alcohol!) with a crisp twist of carbonation. And because lambics are fermented spontaneously, the final taste is unpredictable but usually tart, funky, and dry.

Collective Arts Brewing is a Canadian brewery known for emphasizing a mix of art and beer, so it's no surprise they got creative. Their Guava Gose is one of the most exciting takes on the style, a lush tropical vacation in a can. It's brewed with malted barley and malted wheat along with coriander and salty water for a finish that's tart, funky, crisp, and yep, a little salty. Like the lambic, goses a popular base for adding fruit.

Springdale's Lavenade Tart Ale is a Berliner weisse with lavender and lemon. It's very on trend with its dreamy fragrant character, and its punchy, zippy lemon is super refreshing, making it a must on warm days. American craft breweries keep pushing forward the evolution of German and Belgian-inspired Berliner weisses, a tart, bready, low-alcohol German style also commonly riffed on with different fruit additions.

No list of best beers would be complete without the Anchor Steam Beer, considered the first American craft beer by experts. Anchor Brewing first brewed their steam beer, otherwise known as a California Common, in San Francisco in 1896. They're still doing so today, making it one of the longest running commercial examples of an original American beer style. Called "steam beers," Commons are malty yet light and smooth amber brews. Anchor's Steam is every bit as refreshing today as it was nearly 125 years ago.

Sierra Nevada is a titan of American beer, having helped put craft beer on the map in 1979. You probably know them for their Pale Ale, a beer approachable enough for craft novices to love and nuanced enough to have garnered cult status among brewers. Its piney, citrusy hop character paved the way for America's love affair with the IPA, while the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale remains a staple in its own right.

While the Daisy Cutter Pale Ale from Half Acre Beer Company is a craft kid compared to the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, it's still got a respectable decade under its belt. Ten years basically makes a beer a wise and revered elder in the craft brewing world. This Chicago-brewed pale ale has all the dank hoppiness of a more assertive IPA, but at a lighter, smoother clip, making it a more crushable source of hop flavor.

The India Pale Ale style was born out of England sending their pale beer to India with lots of hops that acted as preservatives in the 1800s. Today, it's one of the most popular styles in the United States because of its big, bold flavors, and Cigar City's Jai Alai is one of the most popular versions of that style. Named for a game invented in the Basque region of Spain, Jai Alai has in previous years been the best-selling craft six-pack in American grocery stores.

Let's talk West Coast vs. New England IPAs: West Coast IPAs are closer to the original form of the style. They're bright with a dry finish and most importantly, a bouquet of herbal, citrusy, bitter hop notes. More recently, New England IPAs came to represent a less bitter iteration of the style. They're hazy and juicy, often with lots of tropical fruit character and a smoothie-like quality. The Sip of Sunshine IPA from Vermont brewery Lawson's Finest Liquids is the best of both worlds. It's often classified as a New England IPA, or NEIPA, because of its tropical characteristics, but it has the floral hop quality and bitter punch of a West Coast take.

The Ithaca Flower Power IPA is a another form of West Coast meets Northeast for India Pale Ales. Brewer Jeff O'Neil had worked at several breweries in the Bay Area, and he brought his expertise in creating a pitch perfect West Coast IPA to New York when he went to work for Ithaca Beer Co. Flower Power is considered one of the most important beers in the industry because of how it introduced a West Coast style done right to the East.

California brewery Bear Republic Brewing Co. launched Racer 5 back when there were only 500 breweries in the United States. It paved the way for American IPAs with its flavor profile: notes of pine and citrus from Cascade and Chinook hops, balanced by subtle sweetness from the malt.

This is the beer that started the whole double IPA trend. Pliny the Elder from Californian brewery Russian River is responsible for Very Important Beer Moments: Brewer and now owner (with wife Natalie) Vinne Cilurzo is credited with inventing the double IPA, taking the West Coast IPA to a higher level of piney bitterness. Pliny the Elder also kick-started today's beer nerd culture. The lifestyle of lining up for brews, trading them, photographing and reviewing them for blogs and social media, that can essentially be drawn back to the hullabaloo around Pliny the Elder releases, excitement that still hasn't died down to this day.

Speaking of beer nerd culture: If you're an IPA fan, you might be aware of the style's own cult status. King Sue is a Double IPA from Toppling Goliath Brewing Co. in Decorah, IA. The brewery had wowed consumers with their IPA, Pseudo Sue, and doubled its hoppiness and tropical milkshake-y-ness for King Sue. The result is a perpetually sought after brew, an instant status symbol for your Instagram feed.

Heady Topper is a double IPA from Vermont brewery The Alchemist. Just as Racer 5 helped define the West Coast IPA and Pliny the Elder helped define the double IPA, Heady Topper helped define the hazy New England IPA. This beer is so good and has been so famously hard to find in the past that there are social media accounts dedicated to spotting it, people get on planes when they find out it's being sold somewhere, and when the brewery had a brewpub, customers would actually secretly bottle the beer in the bathroom to sell or trade. This double IPA is genre-defining and legendary&mdashmake sure you follow the can's instructions and drink it without a glass.


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About the American Homebrewers Association: The American Homebrewers Association ® (AHA) has worked on behalf of the homebrewing community since 1978 and celebrates a membership of more than 46,000 homebrewers. The American Homebrewers Association organizes events including Homebrew Con™ and the National Homebrew Competition. The AHA also publishes Zymurgy ® magazine for homebrewers and beer lovers, and offers money-saving deals and recipes via the Brew Guru ® mobile app. The AHA is part of the Brewers Association (BA), whose independent craft brewer seal is a widely adopted symbol that differentiates beers by small and independent craft brewers. The BA’s Brewers Publications ® division is the leading publisher of contemporary and relevant brewing literature for today’s craft brewers and homebrewers.

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Award-Winning American IPA Recipes

America’s favorite style of craft beer of late is pretty easy to name: IPA. Those three letters can sell almost anything, market analysis tells us year after year. Over time, the IPA category has splintered further into a dozen sub-styles: Every color, every strength, every possible combination of yeast strains. Beyond hoppy, drinkers and brewers can seem to change their mind about what they want the style to be year after year. While this riffing on a common theme is far from new in beer, it can seem to affect IPAs far more than other styles. Maybe that’s because India Pale Ale has always had a hazy identity, full of twists and turns right from the start.

In the Beginning

The common story that IPA was invented to survive the long ocean voyage is actually a bit of a distortion of the truth hoppy pale ales existed before the style was defined, and independent of the India route. Little realized, too, is that historic English IPAs resembled American hop-bombs closer than their contemporary English cousins. Brewed with only the lightest malt on the market to be as pale and dry as possible, they were nonetheless intensely hopped, using up to three or four ounces per gallon (22–30 g/L). But the powerful forces of taste and taxes changed much over time, and the English IPA of the mid-1900s emerged as a quite different beer from those of the mid-1800s. Half a century ago, the IPAs of England barely resembled their historic predecessors.

American brewers, of course, took a run at it from there. Early on in the US there was the legendary Ballantine IPA, a standard bearer of American IPA for decades, but which mutated and changed many times itself over the years, until, by the 1970s, changes in ownership had warped Ballantine into a ghost of the beer it’d once been. It would take innovative brewers on the West Coast of the United States to rekindle the public’s taste for hoppy beers. Soon, of course, this thirst would spread across the country.

In IPA: Brewing Techniques, Recipes and the Evolution of India Pale Ale, author (and former Stone Brewing Co. Brewmaster) Mitch Steele describes the conception of the beer that would form the blueprint for hoppy American ales for years to come: Anchor Liberty Ale. Hopped entirely with Cascade, it was a massively bitter beer for its time, at 40 plus IBUs. Steele calls it, “The first American IPA in every sense since Ballantine.” Liberty Ale would inspire many more beers, and Cascade would from then on practically define an era of American craft beer. Sierra Nevada based their game-changing pale ale around Liberty. In the east, Boston’s Harpoon IPA soon emerged as one of the first year-round IPAs anywhere in the country — and it too showcased America’s favorite new hop. In Oregon, the trend-setting, super-bitter-for-its-time Bombay Bomber IPA from Steelhead Brewing Co. in Portland furthered the trend of focusing on new, citrusy American hops like Chinook.

But as more and more (and more) breweries opened, these American commonalities were shuffled off into a new era of regionalism. If you’re an IPA fan, you’re almost certainly familiar with the distinction of East Coast IPA and West Coast IPA. Or the perceived distinction, anyway — it stands to reason that the lines would begin to blur over time, that not every last brewery would stick to its geographical inheritance. But let’s step back twenty or so years ago, to when American IPA was in a different phase, when regionalism was much more of a thing.

As “schools of thought,” the geographical categorization of East Coast IPA and West Coast IPA was never meant to encapsulate every single brewery on either coast, but rather the prevailing trends and techniques that many brewers in the various regions favored. The East Coast took its cues from contemporary brewing trends in England, with ample crystal malt providing contrast to hop bitterness. West Coast brewers dug in on paler concoctions with unashamed bitterness, in some ways closer to English IPAs of an earlier era. These days, the same rules don’t necessarily apply.

“Brewers are fairly transient,” said John Trogner, Co-Founder and Brewmaster at Tröegs Brewing Co. in Hershey, Pennsylvania, who got his start brewing in Colorado before moving back to central Pennsylvania to open Tröegs with his brother. “They’re learning in one place and picking up and moving to another. Just like America, it’s the melting pot. We’ve traveled all over and soaked up what we’ve liked and molded each of our beers to have their own tastes and aromas.”

Mitch Steele agrees. “It’s blurring across the country,” Steele said of the American IPA style. “Some of the best ‘West Coast’ IPAs are being brewed by Fat Heads, just outside of Cleveland, Ohio, and Wicked Weed in Asheville, North Carolina, among many others. Brewers tend to share so much information, regional differences are going away.”

The New Approach

As trends change, balance is often the big riddle for American IPA brewers and drinkers alike. It seems to mean something different to everyone, and no one can even seem to agree whether an IPA needs to be balanced — again, depending on what you even mean by the term. But for years, the distinction in terms of coastal IPAs at least had some consensus: When brewing in the East, use more caramel malt when brewing for Californians, just bitter that sucker to oblivion, and don’t forget the gypsum.

“Balance is so subjective,” Steele said. “I think every beer needs to have some malt — it can’t be a hop tea and be successful. That said, I do think some brewers are too nervous about going for the gusto with their hop additions. Using a skillful blend of hops in very large quantities can result in a wonderful balance too.”

Across all the brewers I’ve talked to, both for this article and in general conversation recently, I was shocked how unanimous this impression was. All IPA brewers seem to be zeroing in on a shift in the palate of IPA drinkers, who seem to have a thirst for drier, aromatic, and more drinkable IPAs.

“I think many brewers across the country right now are focusing their IPA recipes to have huge hop aroma and flavor, and very little malt sweetness,” said Steele.

“I think brewers across the US are continuing to move in a common direction in regard to the overall objectives in IPA brewing: A pale ale that is delicate on the palate and oozing with hop flavor and aroma,” said Dan Suarez, former Assistant Brewer for Hill Farmstead Brewery in Greensboro Bend, Vermont. Dan is currently working to open Suarez Family Brewery in Germantown, New York.

For Suarez, balance is relatively straightforward. “I think balance simply refers to an IPA that is pleasant to drink. This is what beer drinkers and brewers want nowadays. The IBU arms race is over, and people just want a drinkable beer.”

While plenty of hopheads have developed a definite love of bitterness, there’s a large portion of the market that will likely never share that same taste. Jean Broillet IV, Brewmaster at Tired Hands in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, points out that humans are wired to avoid bitterness, even if it becomes an acquired taste for some. Brewers across the country have now caught on to the fact that dense, vibrant hop flavors can be packed into a beer that will appeal to hopheads and bitterness-fearers alike. This, in fact, may be the new front of IPA education: Separating “hoppiness” and “bitterness” in the lexicon of the average beer drinker’s mind.

Brewing American IPA

While hops may be the sexiest ingredient of your American IPA, in some ways, they’re also the easiest. Throw some Citra® and Amarillo® in for late additions and you probably won’t go wrong. Whirlpool hopping might be the standout trend in this new school of thought regarding IPAs. Broillet, Trogner, and others recommend shifting the majority of the hop bill to the whirlpool stage (for many homebrewers, this takes the form of a long “hop stand” after finishing your boil) and to the dry hop. But all the brewers I talked to agreed: Don’t neglect the other components, because they can actually be the toughest to nail.

The most important ingredient of all, however, when crafting the perfect IPA is water.

“Insanely hoppy IPAs that you want to be perfectly dry but not bitter . . . there’s a big difference even if you have a slight salt change,” said Trogner.

Trogner describes the “two general ways” of tweaking a beer’s character through water, beyond basic utilitarian adjustments like analyzing your water hardness and carefully dialing in mash pH (for dry and bright IPAs, target a mash pH on the low end, around 5.3). To round out the mouthfeel of a beer, Trogner says, add calcium chloride (CaCl2). To sharpen it, gypsum (calcium sulfate) will accentuate the bitterness and perception of dryness in the beer, and remains a classic element in the West Coast IPA flavor profile.

As for yeast, Broillet, like many of the brewers I talked to, relies on an English ale strain. “A nice soft ester profile jibes really well with our hop selection,” he said. While English strains are generally less attenuative than American strains like Chico, Broillet engineers his IPAs to finish extremely dry by manipulating other variables, like mash temperature and grain bill.

Homebrewing American IPA

Of course, the trends in commercial American IPA have resonated with homebrewers. For example, Philadelphia-area homebrewer Ed Coffey has devoted a lot of thought (and a lot of test batches) parsing the secrets behind Broillet’s beers, along with occasional tips gleaned from the brewer himself. It’s paid off: Coffey won the Philly Homebrew Cup with an IPA inspired by Broillet’s hoppy creations, and for his prize, went on to brew his Riverwards IPA recipe at 2nd Story Brewing in downtown Philadelphia. (Check out Coffey’s recipe, along with four other award-winning IPA homebrew recipes below). Through his repeated experiments and research, Coffey sees these new-wave IPAs as simple beers that come together through expert technique and process management.

“From hopping techniques to water treatment and expressive yeast strains, every component is expertly calculated and plays an important role,” Coffey said of the modern American IPA. “Drinkability is what sets it apart, since most of these new IPAs are not overly bitter while being exceedingly hoppy, and more complex and impressive than their forefathers.”

Buffalo, New York’s Brad Robbins, first-place winner in the IPA category at the 2014 Amber Waves of Grain for his Simtra Mosalaxy IPA (recipe below) goes for a similar approach.

“My goal with this IPA, and most that I brew, was to emphasize hop flavor and aroma over bitterness. Even though it clocks in at 81 IBU, the fuller body keeps the bitterness in check and allows the intense aromas and flavors of American/Down Under hops to shine, while the first wort hopping lends a deceptively smooth bitterness and long-lasting flavor. In addition to a heavy hop load at flameout, I utilized a hopstand to extract further flavor and aroma without adding bitterness. There is a range of temperatures that can be used for hop stands, but I chose the relatively low temperature of 150 °F (66 °C) paired with a longer hold of 50 minutes to achieve maximum flavor/aroma and minimum bitterness. To achieve this, you can simply chill your wort immediately after flame out, stopping when it reaches your desired temperature and allowing it to rest there for 20 minutes to an hour, depending on your patience and desired level of flavor/aroma extraction.”

Matt Klausner, an Aurora, Illinois homebrewer who has won many awards for his Klaus Brau’s Kitchen Sink IPA (recipe below) emphasizes keeping the beer as “clean” as possible. He swears by using a secondary fermenter for his IPAs.

“There is a lot of discussion on whether or not to use a secondary fermenter,” said Klausner. “I believe they are a useful tool in making better beer. Especially with a heavily-hopped IPA, the beer should be as clean as possible. When you’re ready to rack off the hops, cold crashing will help drop the hops to the bottom so you can hold a siphon above the hops to transfer. With enough practice you won’t suck up any hop material.”

Find Your Perspective

Whether the beer is commercial or homebrew, West Coast, East Coast, or whatever brewers will decide to call this new approach to IPA, Trogner feels that there will always be one definitive factor that can be relied upon to categorize an IPA.

“The number one thing is the brewer’s perspective,” Trogner says. “Whoever is creating that recipe, his or her point of view obviously affects the whole freaking thing. If you agree with their brewing philosophy you’re going to dig it, if you don’t . . . they can use the best ingredients, but it’s probably not going to match up to your taste buds.”

Riverwards IPA

(5 gallons/19 L, all-grain)
OG = 1.060 FG = 1.012
IBU = 42 SRM = 4 ABV = 6.4%
by Ed Coffey • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Winner, Philly Homebrew Cup

Ingredients
11 lbs. (5 kg) 2-row pale malt
1.4 lbs. (0.64 kg) white wheat malt
1.4 lbs. (0.64 kg) flaked oats
4.3 AAU CTZ (Columbus/Tomahawk®/Zeus) hops (first wort hop) (0.25 oz./7 g at 17% alpha acid)
11.1 AAU Amarillo® hops (5 min.) (1.25 oz./35 g at 8.9% alpha acid)
18.1 AAU Citra® hops (5 min.) (1.25 oz./35 g at 14.5% alpha acid)
1.25 oz. (35 g) Amarillo® hops (hop stand)
1.25 oz. (35 g) Citra® hops (hop stand)
2.5 oz. (71 g) Amarillo® hops (dry hop)
2.5 oz. (71 g) Citra® hops (dry hop)
1 oz. (28 g) Simcoe® hops (dry hop)
½ tsp. yeast nutrient (15 min.)
1 tsp. Irish moss (15 min.)
The Yeast Bay (Vermont Ale) or GigaYeast GY054 (Vermont IPA) or East Coast Yeast ECY29 (North East Ale) yeast
2⁄3 cup corn sugar (if priming)

Step by Step
Mill the grains and dough-in with 17.25 quarts (16.3 L) of strike water, for a mash ratio of about 1.25 quarts per pound of grain (2.6 L/kg). Target a mash temperature of 150 °F (66 °C) and hold for 60 minutes. Sparge with 170 °F (77 °C) water. While the runnings are being collected, add your first wort hop addition. Collect approximately 7 gallons (26.4 L) of wort runoff and bring to a boil. The goal is to get 5.5 gallons (21 L) into the fermenter. Add the Irish moss with 15 minutes left in the boil. Add the first charge of Amarillo® and Citra® hops with 5 minutes left in the boil.

After the 60-minute boil, chill the entire wort down to 185 °F (85 °C) and add the whirlpool/hop stand addition of hops and let the wort rest for 45 minutes with the lid on. Once the whirlpool/hop stand is complete, chill your wort to yeast pitching temperature.

Pitch your yeast as a 1.5-L yeast starter and ferment at 64–70 °F (18–21 °C). Fermentation should take 10–14 days. Following fermentation, dry hop for five days before bottling or transferring to keg. Prime to 2.3 volumes of CO2.

Riverwards IPA

(5 gallons/19 L, extract only)
OG = 1.060 FG = 1.012
IBU = 42 SRM = 4 ABV = 6.4%

Ingredients
5.5 lbs. (2.5 kg) golden light dried malt extract
1 lb. (0.45 kg) wheat dried malt extract
1 lb. (0.45 kg) corn sugar (dextrose)
4.3 AAU CTZ (Columbus/Tomahawk®/Zeus) hops (first wort hop) (0.25 oz./7 g at 17% alpha acid)
11.1 AAU Amarillo® hops (5 min.) (1.25 oz./35 g at 8.9% alpha acid)
18.1 AAU Citra® hops (5 min.) (1.25 oz./35 g at 14.5% alpha acid)
1.25 oz. (35 g) Amarillo® hops (hop stand)
1.25 oz. (35 g) Citra® hops (hop stand)
2.5 oz. (71 g) Amarillo® hops (dry hop)
2.5 oz. (71 g) Citra® hops (dry hop)
1 oz. (28 g) Simcoe® hops (dry hop)
½ tsp. yeast nutrient (15 min.)
1 tsp. Irish moss (15 min.)
The Yeast Bay (Vermont Ale) or GigaYeast GY054 (Vermont IPA) or East Coast Yeast ECY29 (North East Ale) yeast
2⁄3 cup corn sugar (if priming)

Step by Step
Add the water to reach a total of 3 gallons (11.3 L), then bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, add the malt extract and corn sugar, and stir until completely dissolved. Return to heat and add first hop addition. Add the Irish moss with 15 minutes left in the boil. Add the first charge of Amarillo® and Citra® hops with 5 minutes left in the boil. Boil for a total of 60 minutes, then top off with cold, filtered water until the temperature of the wort drops to 185 °F (85 °C). Add whirlpool/hop stand additions and let rest for 45 minutes with the lid on. Once the whirlpool/hop stand is complete, top off with cold, filtered water to reach a total volume of 5.5 gallons (21 L), then continue to chill wort to yeast pitching temperatures.

Pitch the yeast as a 1.5-L yeast starter and ferment at 64-70 °F (18- 21 °C). Fermentation should take 10-14 days. Following fermentation, dry hop for 5 days before bottling or transferring to keg. Prime to 2.3 volumes of CO2.

Peachtree IPA

(5 gallons/19 L, all-grain)
OG = 1.063 FG = 1.012
IBU = 66 SRM = 9 ABV = 6.7%
by Josh Weikert • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Winner 1st Place IPA at War of the Worts

Ingredients
11.75 lbs. (5.3 kg) US 2-row pale malt
1.4 lbs. (0.64 kg) Munich malt (9 °L)
13 oz. (0.36 kg) crystal malt (20 °L)
9 oz. (0.25 kg) crystal malt (40 °L)
16.3 AAU Nugget hops (60 min.) (1.25 oz./35 g at 13% alpha acid)
16.3 AAU Simcoe® hops (5 min.) (1.25 oz./35 g at 13% alpha acid)
1.25 oz. (35 g) Amarillo® hops (0 min.)
1.25 oz. (35 g) Citra® hops (dry hop)
½ tsp. yeast nutrient (15 min.)
Wyeast 1056 (American Ale) or White Labs WLP001 (California Ale) or Fermentis US-05 yeast
2⁄3 cup corn sugar (if priming)

Step by Step
This is a single infusion mash. Heat 4.5 gallons (17 L) of strike water for a mash ratio of about 1.25 quarts per pound of grain (2.6 L/kg). Target a mash temperature of 154 °F (68 °C) and hold for 60 minutes. Batch sparge with enough water to collect approximately 7 gallons (26.4 L) of wort runoff and bring to a boil. The goal is to get 5.5 gallons (21 L) of wort into the fermenter.

Boil the wort for 60 minutes adding the Nugget hops at the beginning, the yeast nutrients with 15 minutes left in the boil, and the Simcoe® hop addition with five minutes remaining in the boil. After turning off the heat, add the Amarillo® hops, then chill the wort to 68 °F (20 °C) and pitch the yeast, preferably as a 1.5-L yeast starter if pitching liquid yeast. Hold at this temperature for the duration of primary fermentation. Fermentation should take 10–14 days. Following fermentation, dry hop with Citra® hops for five days before bottling or transferring to keg. Prime to 2.4 volumes of CO2.

Peachtree IPA

(5 gallons/19 L, extract with grains)
OG = 1.063 FG = 1.012
IBU = 66 SRM = 9 ABV = 6.7%

Ingredients
4.75 lbs. (2.15 kg) extra light dried malt extract
3.3 lbs. (1.5 kg) Munich liquid malt extract
8 oz. (0.23 kg) crystal malt (20 °L)
8 oz. (0.23 kg) crystal malt (40 °L)
16.3 AAU Nugget hops (60 min.) (1.25 oz./35 g at 13% alpha acid)
16.3 AAU Simcoe® hops (5 min.) (1.25 oz./35 g at 13% alpha acid)
1.25 oz. (35 g) Amarillo® hops (0 min.)
1.25 oz. (35 g) Citra® hops (dry hop)
½ tsp. yeast nutrient (15 min.)
Wyeast 1056 (American Ale) or White Labs WLP001 (California Ale) or Fermentis US-05 yeast
2⁄3 cup corn sugar (if priming)

Step by Step
Steep the crushed grain in 2 gallons (7.6 L) of water as it warms until a temperature of about 170 °F (77 °C) is reached, or approximately 20 minutes. Remove the grains from the wort and rinse with 4 quarts (3.7 L) of hot water. Add the liquid to reach a total of 3 gallons (11.3 L) in the brew pot and bring the wort to a boil. Turn off the heat, add the liquid malt extract, and stir until completely dissolved. Return to heat and add the Nugget hops. With 15 minutes remaining in the boil, add the dried malt extract and yeast nutrients. Add the Simcoe® hop addition with five minutes remaining in the boil. After turning off the heat, add the Amarillo® hops and then rapidly chill the wort to room temperature. Transfer to a fermenter and top off to 5.5 gallons (21 L).

Pitch the yeast when the temperature of the wort is about 68 °F (20 °C). Preferably pitch the yeast as a 1.5-L starter if pitching liquid yeast. Hold the wort at this temperature for the duration of primary fermentation. Fermentation should take 10–14 days. Following fermentation, dry hop for 5 days before bottling or transferring to keg. Prime to 2.4 volumes of CO2.

Tips for success:
This recipe is designed to be simple and easy. The dry hop is up to the brewer’s preference. I originally used Amarillo® when first developing this recipe, but I have switched it up to Citra® to brighten the aroma. Whatever American aroma hops you prefer would be appropriate here.

Simtra Mosalaxy IPA

(5 gallons/19 L, all-grain)
OG = 1.067 FG = 1.016
IBU = 80+ SRM = 14 ABV = 7%
by Brad Robbins • Buffalo, New York Winner 1st Place IPA at Amber Waves of Grain

Ingredients
13.5 lbs. (6.1 kg) Muntons Maris Otter malt blend
8 oz. (0.22 kg) Fawcett dark crystal malt (120 °L)
8 oz. (0.22 kg) Muntons crystal malt (60 °L)
8 oz. (0.22 kg) Weyermann Caraamber® malt (28 °L)
13.8 AAU Citra® hops, leaf (first wort hop) (1 oz./28 g at 13.8% alpha acids)
14.1 AAU Simcoe® hops, leaf (first wort hop) (1 oz./28 g at 14.1% alpha acids)
12.4 AAU Mosaic™ hops, pellets (15 min.) (1 oz./28 g at 12.4% alpha acids)
13.8 AAU Citra® hops, leaf (10 min.) (1 oz./28 g at 13.8% alpha acids)
16 AAU Galaxy hops, pellets (5 min.) (1 oz./28 g at 16% alpha acids)
1 oz. (28 g) AU Topaz hops, pellets (hop stand)
1 oz. (28 g) Mosaic™ hops, pellets (hop stand)
1 oz. (28 g) Galaxy hops, pellets (hop stand)
1 oz. (28 g) Citra® hops, leaf (hop stand)
1 oz. (28 g) Simcoe® hops, leaf (hop stand)
1 oz. (28 g) Galaxy hops, pellets (dry hop)
1 oz. (28 g) Citra® hops, leaf(dry hop)
1 oz. (28 g) Simcoe® hops, leaf (dry hop)
1 oz. (28 g) Mosaic™ hops, pellets (dry hop)
Fermentis US-05 or White Labs WLP001 (California Ale) or Wyeast 1056 (American Ale) yeast
3⁄4 cup corn sugar (if priming)

Step by Step
Mash the grains with strike water to achieve 155 °F (68 °C). Rest for 60 minutes until conversion is complete. Sparge with enough water to collect 7.5 gallons (28.4 L) in the kettle. Add the first wort hop additions during the sparge. Boil for 90 minutes adding kettle hops at the times indicated. Chill the wort to 150 °F (66 °C), then add the hop stands. After 50 minutes chill to 68 °F (20 °C). Pitch the yeast, then aerate. Ferment at 68 °F (20 °C). Transfer the beer onto the dry hops in a secondary vessel. Dry hop for two weeks. Prime to 2.5 volumes of CO2.

Simtra Mosalaxy IPA

(5 gallons/19 L, extract with grains)
OG = 1.067 FG = 1.016
IBU = 80+ SRM = 15 ABV = 7%

Ingredients
9.5 lbs. (4.3 kg) Maris Otter liquid malt extract
8 oz. (0.22 kg) Fawcett dark crystal malt (120 °L)
8 oz. (0.22 kg) Muntons crystal malt (60 °L)
8 oz. (0.22 kg) Weyermann Caraamber® malt (28 °L)
13.8 AAU Citra® hops, leaf (first wort hop) (1 oz./28 g at 13.8% alpha acids)
14.1 AAU Simcoe® hops, leaf (first wort hop) (1 oz./28 g at 14.1% alpha acids)
12.4 AAU Mosaic™ hops, pellets (15 min.) (1 oz./28 g at 12.4% alpha acids)
13.8 AAU Citra® hops, leaf (10 min.) (1 oz./28 g at 13.8% alpha acids)
16 AAU Galaxy hops, pellets (5 min.)
(1 oz./28 g at 16% alpha acids)
1 oz. (28 g) AU Topaz hops, pellets (hop stand)
1 oz. (28 g) Mosaic™ hops, pellets (hop stand)
1 oz. (28 g) Galaxy hops, pellets (hop stand)
1 oz. (28 g) Citra® hops, leaf (hop stand)
1 oz. (28 g) Simcoe® hops, leaf (hop stand)
1 oz. (28 g) Galaxy hops, pellets (dry hop)
1 oz. (28 g) Citra® hops, leaf (dry hop)
1 oz. (28 g) Simcoe® hops, leaf (dry hop)
1 oz. (28 g) Mosaic™ hops, pellets (dry hop)
Fermentis US-05 or White Labs WLP001 (California Ale) or Wyeast 1056 (American Ale) yeast
3⁄4 cup corn sugar (if priming)

Step by Step
Place your crushed grains in a bag and soak in one gallon (4 L) 160 °F (71 °C) water for 20 minutes. Rinse the grains with 2 qts. (2 L) hot water. Add water until there is about 7.5 gallons (28.4 L) in the kettle. Bring to a boil, remove the kettle from heat and stir in the malt extract. Add the first wort hop additions and return the wort to heat. Follow the remainder of the all-grain recipe.

American IPA

(5 gallons/19 L, all-grain)
OG = 1.070 FG = 1.016
IBU = 100+ SRM = 8 ABV = 7.1%
by Chris Woolston • Beacon, New York
National Homebrew Competition Round 1 New York City Region First Place

Ingredients
13.5 lbs. (6.1 kg) 2-row pale malt
1.4 lbs. (0.64 kg) Carapils® malt
1.4 lbs. (0.64 kg) crystal malt (40 °L)
13 AAU Simcoe® hops (90 min.) (1 oz./28 g at 13% alpha acids)
6.5 AAU Simcoe® hops (30 min.) (0.5 oz./14 g at 13% alpha acids)
7.8 AAU CTZ (Columbus/Tomahawk®/Zeus) hops (30 min.) (0.5 oz./14 g at 15.5% alpha acids)
9.8 AAU Simcoe® hops (15 min.) (0.75 oz./21g at 13% alpha acids)
11.6 AAU CTZ (Columbus/Tomahawk®/Zeus) hops (15 min.) (0.75 oz./21 g at 15.5% alpha acids)
5.5 AAU Cascade hops (10 min.) (1 oz./28 g at 5.5% alpha acids)
0.5 oz. (14 g) Simcoe® hops (0 min.)
0.5 oz. (14 g) CTZ (Columbus/Tomahawk®/Zeus) hops (0 min.)
0.5 oz. (14 g) Amarillo® (dry hop)
0.5 oz. (14 g) Centennial (dry hop)
0.5 oz. (14 g) CTZ (Columbus/Tomahawk®/Zeus) hops (dry hop)
0.5 oz. (14 g) Simcoe® (dry hop)
Wyeast 1056 (American Ale) or White Labs WLP001 (California Ale) or Fermentis US-05
¾ cup corn sugar (if priming)

Step By Step
A day or two before brew day make a yeast starter if using a liquid strain. On brew day, dough-in with 20.4 quarts (19.3 L) of water, for a mash ratio of about 1.25 quarts per pound of grain. Target a mash temperature of 152 °F (67 °C) and hold for 60 minutes. Sparge with 170 °F (77 °C) water. Collect approximately 7 gallons (26.4 L) of wort runoff and bring to a boil, then add first hop addition. Boil for 90 minutes, adding hops at times indicated. At the end of the boil, add the final hop addition, then chill the wort to 64 °F (18 °C).

Pitch your yeast starter and ferment at 64–70 °F (18–21 °C). Following primary fermentation (about two weeks), dry hop for five days before bottling or transferring to keg. Prime to 2.3 volumes of CO2.

American IPA

(5 gallons/19 L, extract with grains)
OG = 1.070 FG = 1.016
IBU = 100+ SRM = 10 ABV = 7.1%

Ingredients
8 lbs (3.6 kg) golden light dried malt extract
0.5 lb. (227 g) Carapils® malt
0.5 lb (227 g) crystal malt (40 °L)
13 AAU Simcoe® hops (90 min.) (1 oz./28 g at 13% alpha acids)
6.5 AAU Simcoe® hops (30 min.) (0.5 oz./14 g at 13% alpha acids)
7.8 AAU CTZ (Columbus/Tomahawk®/Zeus) hops (30 min.) (0.5 oz./14 g at 15.5% alpha acids)
9.8 AAU Simcoe® hops (15 min.) (0.75 oz./21g at 13% alpha acids)
11.6 AAU CTZ (Columbus/Tomahawk®/Zeus) hops (15 min.) (0.75 oz./21 g at 15.5% alpha acids)
5.5 AAU Cascade hops (10 min.) (1 oz./28 g at 5.5% alpha acids)
0.5 oz. (14 g) Simcoe® hops (0 min.)
0.5 oz. (14 g) CTZ (Columbus/Tomahawk®/Zeus) hops (0 min.)
0.5 oz. (14 g) Amarillo® (dry hop)
0.5 oz. (14 g) Centennial (dry hop)
0.5 oz. (14 g) CTZ (Columbus/Tomahawk®/Zeus) hops (dry hop)
0.5 oz. (14 g) Simcoe® (dry hop)
Wyeast 1056 (American Ale) or White Labs WLP001 (California Ale) or Fermentis US-05
¾ cup corn sugar (if priming)

Step By Step
A day or two before brew day make a yeast starter if using a liquid strain. On brew day, steep the crushed grain in 2 gallons (7.6 L) of water as it warms to reach 150 °F (65.5 °C), approximately 20 minutes. Remove grains from the wort and rinse with 4 quarts (3.8 L) of hot water. Add the liquid to reach a total of 3 gallons (11.3 L) and bring to a boil. If you can do a full volume (5.5-gal./21-L) boil, it is recommended. Turn off heat, add malt extract, and stir until completely dissolved. Return to heat and add first hop addition. Continue to add hop additions at intervals per ingredents list. Cool the wort to room temperature, then top off with cold, filtered water to reach 5.5 gallons (21 L).

Pitch yeast starter and ferment at 64–70 °F (18–21 °C). Now follow the remaining instructions from the all-grain recipe.

Klaus Brau’s Kitchen Sink IPA

(5 gallons/19 L, all-grain)
OG = 1.060 FG = 1.013
IBU = 67 SRM = 8 ABV = 6.2%
by Matt Klausner • Aurora, Illinois
1st place at the Schooner Brew, Babble BrewOff &Drunk Monk Challenge

Ingredients
7 lbs. (3.18 kg) 2-row pale malt
3.5 lbs. (1.59 kg) Optic pale ale malt
2.9 lbs. (1.32 kg) Vienna malt
0.6 lb. (0.27 kg) crystal malt (40 °L)
14 AAU Magnum hops (60 min.) (1 oz./28 g at 14% alpha acids)
5 AAU Centennial hops (30 min.) (0.5 oz./14 g at 10% alpha acids)
5 AAU Centennial hops (15 min.) (0.5 oz./14 g at 10% alpha acids)
3.5 AAU Cascade hops (5 min.) (0.5 oz./14 g at 7% alpha acids)
0.5 oz. (14 g) Centennial hops (0 min.)
0.5 oz. (14 g) Cascade hops (0 min.)
0.5 oz. (14 g) Amarillo® hops (dry hop)
1 oz. (28 g) Simcoe® hops (dry hop)
0.5 oz. (14 g) Centennial hops (dry hop)
0.5 oz. (14 g) Cascade hops (dry hop)
White Labs WLP001 (California Ale) or Wyeast 1056 (American Ale) or Fermentis US-05 yeast
¾ cup corn sugar (if priming)

Step by Step
A day or two before brew day make a yeast starter if using a liquid strain. On brew day perform a single infusion mash. Mash in at 152 °F (67 °C) in 4.4 gallons (16.6 L) of water. Hold this temperature for 60 minutes. Sparge with 180 °F (82 °C) water to collect 7 gallons (26.5 L) of wort. Boil for 60 minutes, adding hops at times indicated. The goal is to get 5.5 gallons (21 L) into your fermenter. Chill the wort to 64 °F (18 °C). Ferment between 64–68 °F (18–20 °C). Transfer to a secondary vessel after primary fermentation is complete. Dry hop for one week with 0.5 oz. (14 g) Amarillo®, 0.5 oz. (14 g) Simcoe®, and 0.5 oz. (14 g) Centennial hops. After one week dry hop again with 0.5 oz. (14 g) Simcoe® and 0.5 oz. (14 g) Cascade hops. Prime to 2.3 volumes of CO2.

Klaus Brau’s Kitchen Sink IPA

(5 gallons/19 L, extract with grains)
OG = 1.060 FG = 1.013
IBU = 67 SRM = 8 ABV = 6.2%

Ingredients
7 lbs. (3.2 kg) golden light dried malt extract
0.5 lb. (0.23 kg) Vienna malt
0.5 lb. (0.23 kg) crystal malt (40 °L)
14 AAU Magnum hops (60 min.) (1 oz./28 g at 14% alpha acids)
5 AAU Centennial hops (30 min.) (0.5 oz./14 g at 10% alpha acids)
5 AAU Centennial hops (15 min.) (0.5 oz./14 g at 10% alpha acids)
3.5 AAU Cascade hops (5 min.) (0.5 oz./14 g at 7% alpha acids)
0.5 oz. (14 g) Centennial hops (0 min.)
0.5 oz. (14 g) Cascade hops (0 min.)
0.5 oz. (14 g) Amarillo® hops (dry hop)
1 oz. (28 g) Simcoe® hops (dry hop)
0.5 oz. (14 g) Centennial hops (dry hop)
0.5 oz. (14 g) Cascade hops (dry hop)
White Labs WLP001 (California Ale) or Wyeast 1056 (American Ale) or Fermentis US-05 yeast
¾ cup corn sugar (if priming)

Step by Step
A day or two before brew day make a yeast starter if using a liquid strain. On brew day, steep the crushed grain in 2 gallons (7.6 L) of water as it warms until a temperature of about 150 °F (65.5 °C) is reached, or approximately 20 minutes. Remove grains from the wort and rinse with 4 quarts (3.7 L) of hot water. Add the liquid to reach a total of 3 gallons (11.3 L) and bring to a boil. If you can do a full volume boil, 5.5 gallon (21 L), it is recommended. Turn off the heat, add the malt extract, and stir until completely dissolved. Return to heat and add first hop addition. Continue to add hop additions at intervals per ingredients list. Cool the wort to room temperature, then top off with cold, filtered water to reach 5.5 gallons (21 L). Pitch yeast starter.

Ferment between 64–68 °F (18–20 °C). Transfer to a secondary vessel after primary fermentation is complete.

Dry hop for one week with 0.5 oz. (14 g) Amarillo®, 0.5 oz. (14 g) Simcoe®, and 0.5 oz. (14 g) Centennial hops. After one week dry hop again with 0.5 oz. (14 g) Simcoe® and 0.5 oz. (14 g) Cascade hops. Prime to 2.3 volumes of CO2.


50/50 Burger

Hi All! So we’re ending this week with a little something called the 50/50 burger. I had this burger for the first time at this place called Slater’s 50/50: Burgers by Design. It’s a burger place that acts sort of like a pub/sports bar. They have a great selection of burgers and beers to accompany them. Anyway, this burger is awesome. When I make this I like to use applewood smoked bacon with a hint of sweet maple. The type of bacon you use is important because it’s what flavors your burgers. I do recommend that you actually grind the bacon and not just chop it up bc it’ll mix and allow the fat to distribute more evenly which is so important when it comes time to cooking the patties. I also ground my own sirloin, but you certainly don’t have to….don’t have a meat grinder at home? It’s okay, you can ask your local butcher or go to a specialty market and they’re usually pretty good about doing it for you. If you have no choice, you can throw it in the food processor…but make sure the bacon is partially to almost fully frozen, if not the fat will probably get stuck in the blade and not actually grind up (the bacon should be partially frozen when using any method including a meat grinder and mincing with a knife).

I love things like burgers because you can make them however you want and dress it exactly how you like it. I highly recommend you all go make this burger this weekend (and have it with a few cold beers, of course) it’s simple, easy and burgers are awesome…especially this one! :)
xx Jenny

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